New Zealand v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Christchurch January 28, 2011

Will Pakistan's batsmen fight back?

  shares 48

Match Facts

January 29, Christchurch
Start time 14:00 (01:00 GMT)

Big Picture

The perception of this contest is simple: it is a case of two battling batting line-ups pitted against the conditions; whichever team can produce incisive bowling is likely to trigger the opposition's latent tendency to implode.

In the first ODI, Pakistan's batting crumbled like only it can. On their bad days, there is a dull sense of déjà-vu as the batsmen succumb meekly to their technical frailties. What excites the fan are Pakistan's good days: then you gasp at the audacious shot making of a Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi or Abdul Razzaq, or at the fluency of Younis Khan, or the nudge-dab-slog-sweep routine of Misbah-ul-Haq. If the bowlers are on song too, they look a dangerous outfit.

So far it's been a quintessentially Pakistani start to the series: announce a World Cup team without naming the captain and idly watch cliques develop within the team; have the batting implode in the first game; then explode, briefly as rain ruined in the second game when the conditions were supposed to be loaded against the batsmen, and leave the rest of the world wondering what will happen in the third.

While Pakistan sink-and-awe, New Zealand occupy an ecosystem where discipline and self-surrender seem to co-exist without contradiction. One day, they look like a highly disciplined unit, whose whole seems greater than the sum of its parts, but on another day their frailties seem too weak to hide and they just surrender. The new coach, John Wright, has made some changes: Brendon McCullum bats lower down to strengthen the middle order, Martin Guptill opens with the licence to hunt runs together with Jesse Ryder, and Daniel Vettori drops further down. The news is that Jamie How will open in the next game as New Zealand continue to experiment before the World Cup.

Form guide


New Zealand: WLLLL
Pakistan: LLWLW

Players to watch out for …

Younis Khan is at his best when he stretches out on that front foot and laces his square-drives. You know then that everything is well in his world. The mind is relaxed, the footwork is positive and he is constantly thinking about runs. On his bad days, he pokes and dabs, and the shot selection can go awry. Which Younis will turn up tomorrow?

Kane Williamson has shown the ability to handle pace and seam and he is a good fit in a team where the top order has shown a tendency to collapse. Williamson provides stability to this side.

Team news

Jamie How, the Central Districts batsman, will open for New Zealand and Luke Woodcock and Kane Williamson are likely to play.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Jamie How, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Ross Taylor (capt), 4 Scott Styris, 5 Kane Williamson, 6 Brendon McCullum (wk), 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Luke Woodcock, 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Hamish Bennett.

Will Pakistan go with the same team or bring Shoaib Akthar back?

Pakistan (probable): 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq, 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Abdul Razzaq, 9 Abdur Rehman/Sohail Tanvir, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Shoaib Akhtar/Wahab Riaz.

Stats and trivia

  • In the first ODI, Brendon McCullum became the third wicketkeeper to effect five or more dismissals, five times or more. The others are Adam Gilchrist (12) and Mark Boucher (8).

  • Mohammad Hafeez's duck in the first game was his third against New Zealand. It's also the 14th by an Pakistan opener against New Zealand.

  • Tim Southee's 5 for 33, his maiden five-for, in the first ODI are the best bowling figures by a New Zealand bowler against Pakistan.

Quotes

"Hamish Bennett is unusual. He's a hustler, he hits the deck very hard, so with the new ball and the extra bounce that he can get, hopefully he can get a little bit more. You need to see what happens on the day and where the wind's going and things like that, but it'd be good to get him inside that first 10 overs and see what he can do with the new ball."
Ross Taylor is excited at the prospect of opening the bowling with Hamish Bennett

"I guess the thing is not to get too distracted by things. You have a job to do just get on and do it. With the World Cup coming up I guess they are looking to rotate guys around, looking at the big picture."
Jamie How says he is ready to open the batting

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CricketChat on January 29, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    Coming WC will most likely be last Int cricket for both Akthar (no longer a threat to batsmen) and Razzaq (can play a winning knock once every 4 yrs or so and has become very ordinary slow medium pacer of late). Pak should invest in younger players for future tournaments after WC.

  • uptheguts on January 29, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    New Zealand has a great respect for Pakistan. Inzamam, Wasim and Waqar have played some of there most beautiful cricket against the Kiwis and even though it hurts you just have to applaud. Pakistani supporters can be proud of the way this current team has conducted itself, honesty and dignity off the field, and skill and courage on it. Its just a shame we won't be touring Pakistan anytime soon. Lets hope today's game can live up to the battles of the past. Go The Kiwis!

  • Rizlla on January 28, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Some one pointed out Shoaib I agree with the gentleman, Shoaib is getting bothersome for team now and other person I believe does not hold deserve in ODI is Younas KHan his average is 32, and is the weakest link in our batting. If we want a senior batsman than why not Mohammad YOusaf who is much better Batsman his ODI ave is 42. Younis should concentrate on Test cricket he can still serve Pakistan another few years. The 2nd weakest link in Pak team is Shahid Afridi, if he is not Captain he wont be in my playing 11. I think we should seriously consider his performance, and he needs to mature and play sensibly and over come his emotional approach and play rational cricket. He is very capable but gets carried away, The game is very mechanized and technical now and he must as Captain & senior player lead from the front or stop playing with the emotion of the Nation

  • on January 28, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    If Pakistan opener plays an excellent innings

  • on January 28, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    All we need from team Pakistan is honesty, even great champions like australian cricketers and captain say u never know about Pakistan,rest is just babies for us, and if u think ur good ranking is all that, ur good ranking is only good because u do ur best to not confront pakistan.

  • HAROONARIF on January 28, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    I hope Pakistan Will Come Back Very Stronglly............LONG LIVE PAKISTAN!!

  • BoomBoom_Khan on January 28, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    There is very little between the two teams but hear me out folks, NZ is a very tough side in their backyard and it is not easy to run them over. It takes something really really special to get them under control. However, balck caps at subcontinent are a completely different story. I don't care how explosive their batting gets it is their bowling that will win them matches and on subcontinent pitches I don't really see that happening. Looking forward to seeing a good finish to the tour in the last 4 games. Go Pak-NZ!!! love them both.

  • disciplined_breakdown on January 28, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    @Fareen.. not sure if you have followed Shoaib's performance in the last few ODI's; he is getting too expensive and has been pivotal in losing matches for Pakistan. No one is seeing it, but Wahab is the fastest bowler Pakistan has today with consistently bowling in 140s kmh and swinging the bowl. Shoaib also cannot bat.. maybe long time back he might have made a few runs, but Wahab actually plays like a batsman.

  • disciplined_breakdown on January 28, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    @rajaindian.. why such hatred? we know we are screwed up, but are trying in such hard times and just won a test series. Pakistan is playing with their b team because of all the chaos last year. India without yousuf, zaheer and an inform batsmen in similar state will likely not be able to compete with new zealand, right?

  • SaintsFan on January 28, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    If the team absolutely nullifies their egos, and decides to play selflessly for the team, as it should be in the first place, because it is a TEAM sport. If they Surrender! Not to the KIWIs, but to PAKISTAN CRICKET, then, there is no way anyone can stop them because there is no team in the world, (not even the mighty Aussies) who in this particular moment in time is more balanced than our team. It just needs some discipline and a dose of Inspiration. Waqar should bring Imran Khan to the team camp once they get back to Pakistan to motivate the team as we all know, there is no better motivator in Cricket, not only in Pakistan, but the entire cricketing world, than our mighty Imran Khan. And by the way, strange to see so many Indian fans commenting on a Pakistani article. LoL!! I love the competing spirit and jealousy in you Indians. Don't get ahead of yourselves though. Let's wait and see who reaches the Super 8 and who doesn't. I just hope an Asian team can bring the baby back.

  • CricketChat on January 29, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    Coming WC will most likely be last Int cricket for both Akthar (no longer a threat to batsmen) and Razzaq (can play a winning knock once every 4 yrs or so and has become very ordinary slow medium pacer of late). Pak should invest in younger players for future tournaments after WC.

  • uptheguts on January 29, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    New Zealand has a great respect for Pakistan. Inzamam, Wasim and Waqar have played some of there most beautiful cricket against the Kiwis and even though it hurts you just have to applaud. Pakistani supporters can be proud of the way this current team has conducted itself, honesty and dignity off the field, and skill and courage on it. Its just a shame we won't be touring Pakistan anytime soon. Lets hope today's game can live up to the battles of the past. Go The Kiwis!

  • Rizlla on January 28, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Some one pointed out Shoaib I agree with the gentleman, Shoaib is getting bothersome for team now and other person I believe does not hold deserve in ODI is Younas KHan his average is 32, and is the weakest link in our batting. If we want a senior batsman than why not Mohammad YOusaf who is much better Batsman his ODI ave is 42. Younis should concentrate on Test cricket he can still serve Pakistan another few years. The 2nd weakest link in Pak team is Shahid Afridi, if he is not Captain he wont be in my playing 11. I think we should seriously consider his performance, and he needs to mature and play sensibly and over come his emotional approach and play rational cricket. He is very capable but gets carried away, The game is very mechanized and technical now and he must as Captain & senior player lead from the front or stop playing with the emotion of the Nation

  • on January 28, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    If Pakistan opener plays an excellent innings

  • on January 28, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    All we need from team Pakistan is honesty, even great champions like australian cricketers and captain say u never know about Pakistan,rest is just babies for us, and if u think ur good ranking is all that, ur good ranking is only good because u do ur best to not confront pakistan.

  • HAROONARIF on January 28, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    I hope Pakistan Will Come Back Very Stronglly............LONG LIVE PAKISTAN!!

  • BoomBoom_Khan on January 28, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    There is very little between the two teams but hear me out folks, NZ is a very tough side in their backyard and it is not easy to run them over. It takes something really really special to get them under control. However, balck caps at subcontinent are a completely different story. I don't care how explosive their batting gets it is their bowling that will win them matches and on subcontinent pitches I don't really see that happening. Looking forward to seeing a good finish to the tour in the last 4 games. Go Pak-NZ!!! love them both.

  • disciplined_breakdown on January 28, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    @Fareen.. not sure if you have followed Shoaib's performance in the last few ODI's; he is getting too expensive and has been pivotal in losing matches for Pakistan. No one is seeing it, but Wahab is the fastest bowler Pakistan has today with consistently bowling in 140s kmh and swinging the bowl. Shoaib also cannot bat.. maybe long time back he might have made a few runs, but Wahab actually plays like a batsman.

  • disciplined_breakdown on January 28, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    @rajaindian.. why such hatred? we know we are screwed up, but are trying in such hard times and just won a test series. Pakistan is playing with their b team because of all the chaos last year. India without yousuf, zaheer and an inform batsmen in similar state will likely not be able to compete with new zealand, right?

  • SaintsFan on January 28, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    If the team absolutely nullifies their egos, and decides to play selflessly for the team, as it should be in the first place, because it is a TEAM sport. If they Surrender! Not to the KIWIs, but to PAKISTAN CRICKET, then, there is no way anyone can stop them because there is no team in the world, (not even the mighty Aussies) who in this particular moment in time is more balanced than our team. It just needs some discipline and a dose of Inspiration. Waqar should bring Imran Khan to the team camp once they get back to Pakistan to motivate the team as we all know, there is no better motivator in Cricket, not only in Pakistan, but the entire cricketing world, than our mighty Imran Khan. And by the way, strange to see so many Indian fans commenting on a Pakistani article. LoL!! I love the competing spirit and jealousy in you Indians. Don't get ahead of yourselves though. Let's wait and see who reaches the Super 8 and who doesn't. I just hope an Asian team can bring the baby back.

  • on January 28, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    one thing s for sure these pakistanis can do anythng......i mean anythng......even wwin d world cup

  • on January 28, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    Pakistan team is unpredictable as it always have been, i dont see any chances for both of these teams in world cup,how ever other teams are'nt that good either with the exception to Australia.any team is capable of beating other on any given day.so good luck to every body.

  • on January 28, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    New Zeeland need Brendon in the top order, he is better against pace than spin, and is capable of reading pitches before opening bowlers when he gets it right. I like the idea of Guptil in the top order as well, but with Taylor regaining form and the emergence of Williamson, maybe it should be Ryder who drops down the order because he is the best player of spin out of the three 'openers', maybe to be promoted to 3 if and when the situation demands

    1. MCullum (wk) 2. Guptil 3. Williamson 4. Taylor 5. Ryder 6. Styris 7. Franklin 8. Oram 9. Vettori 10. Mills 11. Southee

    And if the pitch demands a bit more pace then Bennet can come in for Styris or Franklin, or, perhaps more likely N McCullum or Luke Woodcock to dothe same when they happen across a turner

  • omarqureshi111 on January 28, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    @rajaindian ....... we are the wounded tigers ...!!! unpredictable , and unimaginably dangerous ! we have our bad days just as our good days ! we are like wild horses who need to be let loose , Never ever a host country has won a world cup , secondly why dont you concentrate on team India , the memories of recent collapses against South Africa are I guess faded , why do you comment out of context ! the topic here is the the outcome of this series , whether we loose or win , we will come out of it positive , and as for the Captain , " we are all captains" .. besides hadn't we seen enough drama in Indian dressing rooms .. so my advise Rajaindian , please save your comments for a Pakistan-India game ... you will look more subtle commenting then .. till then let's see what India does in CWC 2011

  • on January 28, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    ahmed shehzad the messiah for pak team!

  • EkThaSharu on January 28, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    @rajaindian.

    Don't worry about when Pakistan will get out. Look at your team's performance in the last 3 tournaments. And then come and talk about how Pakistan will do.

  • EkThaSharu on January 28, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    @zn264 LOL, very successful worldcup? Mate did you just come back from the Sub Continent, Losing to BANGLADESh..Not to mention getting sweeped by them? And then getting sweeped by India too..

    Too bad they only look great on paper...

  • Fahd on January 28, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    Pakistan has always been unpredictable. Great one day, horrible the next. Dont know which Pak team shows up tonite.

  • on January 28, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    @fareen - EXPERIMENTATION b4 the WC!!! Need 2 get the rut team combo

  • zn264 on January 28, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Black Caps will smash this weak Pakastin side, we are just warming up for what will be a very successful world cup. Our side looks great on paper, now to put it into practice. Oh and How is a waste of time, should have kept Ryder in to give him maximum game time! Happy with other rotatons though, go KIWIS

  • Fareen on January 28, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    What was the reason of dropping Shoaib Akhter? honestly wahab riaz is NOT a good enough bowler,and also he's not experienced.IF Pakistan has to do well in ODI's,they must hand the new ball to Akhter with either Gul or Razzaq.

  • on January 28, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    It was shameless on 1st innings but now we are all ready our team is ready and boom boom is ready for supporting our team and our three legends umar akmal,shahid afridi and umar gul and whole the team is waiting,bring it on.

  • rajaindian on January 28, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    this pak team will lose the series and also the team will come out of league round of the indian world cup

  • rajaindian on January 28, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    no hope for pak in this series.................first decide ur captain...............

  • on January 28, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Excellent comment................................................

  • Shaliamar on January 28, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    they will bounce back. just they have to play with patience. team is good,

  • SixFourOut on January 28, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    New Zealand Must bat low to give themselves a chance to win consistently.............. Their top 5 will always be frail, it wont change in the next 4 months, so they need reinforcement................................................................................... This is the side they need..............1.Ryder 2 Guptil 3 Williamson 4 Taylor 5 Styris 6 Franklin 7 McCullum 8 Oram 9 Vettori 10 Mills 11 Southee/Bennett). ........................For me the top 10 are concrete - they are the form players and let Southee and Bennett fight it our for a spot. ...................This is a team that bats down to 10, has left arm bowlers, a good mix of left hand batsmen. ......................10 batsmen and 9 bowlers. New Zealand can't field a better team than that.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on January 28, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    BLACK CAPS WILL WIN EASILY. PAK WILL FIGHT BACK TO GET BACK HOME EARLY TO READY FOR WORLD CUP WITH NO HOPE.

  • on January 28, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    We will win InshAllah. We will win the World Cup

  • on January 28, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    there are many tyms ven pakistani team has shown a superb performance n so v (all pakistanis) hope dat Pakistan vil Win though the situation is tight n Kiwis r also very gud!!

  • pom_basher on January 28, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    Im wonder if anyone apart from the players themselves (not all of them as well) are bothered about this game

  • happyvally on January 28, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    COME ON AFREDI AND BOYS WE NEED A BREAK GOT FED UP WITH THIS NON PROFETINAL ATTITUDE U MUST CONCERTRATE ON YOUR JOB.U THERE WITH PAKISTANI FLAGE AND U KEEP LETING IT DOWN U GAYS HAS NO PRIDE FOR THE COUNTRY R FOR URSELF.

  • on January 28, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    Yes... Ofcourse they will and give similer start as they started in 2nd ODI... :-)

  • Adeel-Shehzad on January 28, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    The Akmal brothers must click in this match & the series as well...i think selectors must give umar akmal a proper chance in all the remaining 4 matches of the series so that he can get his form back as he could be a crucial player in the upcoming world cup...

  • on January 28, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    This time afridi should come into the game he should play his boom boom innings otherwise there is no chance of winning any match in New Zealand.Boom boom show ur magic again

  • cRiClOvEr01 on January 28, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    Pakistan team is a very balanced team though but the main thing is that they should recollect their confidence.....and there should be tanvir ahmed instead of shoaib akhtar.........as he has bowled very well in test matches with good rythem and pace.....

  • rizzz86 on January 28, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    The answer is .... Yes :)

  • on January 28, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    Hopping for a clear weather and a full match. Pakistan is the only team who can bounce back from a disastrous game and surprise every one.

  • on January 28, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Bring saeed ajmal back.rehman is a test bowler.ajmal is best suited for limited overs cricket.

  • on January 28, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    pak current team is in good form only they need to play with patience

  • ARMAAN4U on January 28, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    WATCH OUT EVERYONE............PAKISTAN WILL B CHAMPION...........................

  • Dr.Hasan on January 28, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Anxiously waiting to see how Ahmed Shahzad performs. he batted brilliantly in the T20 and also gave Pak a rollocking start in the 2nd ODI only to be wasted by rain. Will he continue to shine or fade away as the likes of umar akmal and co. have done. Ideally Pakistan should play the same team they played in the 2nd ODI or at least the players who were brought in for the 2nd ODI should be given a chance again, depending on the pitch and weather condition of course. BUT I hear there is rain forecast for this match as well :(

  • nzcricket174 on January 28, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Both New Zealand and Pakistan are two of the strangest teams in the world. On their good days, both teams can look like world beaters with no flaws. On those other days, they look as fragile as an associate country up against the big boys. This series won't really determine who's better. More or less it will determine who turns up more often. Some days the Pakistani batting line up looks invincible and that you're going to struggle to contain it. On others you'll be confident bowling them out for a low score. Same goes for New Zealand. One minute you think they're a solid unit, then BAM! Good luck to both teams for tomorrow. We'll see which team brings their brains with them.

  • ImranAmin on January 28, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Pakistan will fight back, Shazad looks great with bat, hafeez will fight back he has potential. Hope for good & wish them play cricket positive.

  • Saqib_Sheraz on January 28, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    they must come on to the field with three pacers + Razaq + Afridi & Hafiz

  • on January 28, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    ...............................................................If Top Order Click Pak Win

  • on January 28, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Go Green Go................if batting clicks then no one save the KIwis

  • hasansmylz on January 28, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Seems a very Balanced Team Pakistan.......We just hope it turns they way we are hoping......Good Luck Men In Green

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • hasansmylz on January 28, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Seems a very Balanced Team Pakistan.......We just hope it turns they way we are hoping......Good Luck Men In Green

  • on January 28, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Go Green Go................if batting clicks then no one save the KIwis

  • on January 28, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    ...............................................................If Top Order Click Pak Win

  • Saqib_Sheraz on January 28, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    they must come on to the field with three pacers + Razaq + Afridi & Hafiz

  • ImranAmin on January 28, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Pakistan will fight back, Shazad looks great with bat, hafeez will fight back he has potential. Hope for good & wish them play cricket positive.

  • nzcricket174 on January 28, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Both New Zealand and Pakistan are two of the strangest teams in the world. On their good days, both teams can look like world beaters with no flaws. On those other days, they look as fragile as an associate country up against the big boys. This series won't really determine who's better. More or less it will determine who turns up more often. Some days the Pakistani batting line up looks invincible and that you're going to struggle to contain it. On others you'll be confident bowling them out for a low score. Same goes for New Zealand. One minute you think they're a solid unit, then BAM! Good luck to both teams for tomorrow. We'll see which team brings their brains with them.

  • Dr.Hasan on January 28, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Anxiously waiting to see how Ahmed Shahzad performs. he batted brilliantly in the T20 and also gave Pak a rollocking start in the 2nd ODI only to be wasted by rain. Will he continue to shine or fade away as the likes of umar akmal and co. have done. Ideally Pakistan should play the same team they played in the 2nd ODI or at least the players who were brought in for the 2nd ODI should be given a chance again, depending on the pitch and weather condition of course. BUT I hear there is rain forecast for this match as well :(

  • ARMAAN4U on January 28, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    WATCH OUT EVERYONE............PAKISTAN WILL B CHAMPION...........................

  • on January 28, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    pak current team is in good form only they need to play with patience

  • on January 28, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Bring saeed ajmal back.rehman is a test bowler.ajmal is best suited for limited overs cricket.